10 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Health
Life is crazy sometimes.
There are places to be and appointments to keep, meals to prepare, and laundry to wash.
And those are just the normal activities of life!
Once you add in the non-ordinary things like a new job, a move, or planning for retirement and you’ve got a recipe for some major stress.
It’s a well-known fact that stress isn’t good for your body or your mind. It prevents you from resting well and can even affect your relationships.
But what can you do?
One effective way to relieve stress is to meditate.
What is meditation?
Certain practitioners would describe meditation as clearing the mind, while others would consider it concentrating on one particular subject.
Though there are many definitions and different practices, a general explanation is that meditation involves making an internal effort to self-regulate your mind in some way.
It has been practiced for centuries and has been credited with providing a multitude of mental, emotional and physical advantages.
The profits gained from engaging in meditation cover a wide range of ailments, some physical and some mental.
Have a look at the positive effects of meditation.
It protects the brain as it ages
A study done at UCLA showed that the brains of long-term practitioners of meditation were better protected than the brains of those who didn’t participate in meditation. Those studied who had been engaging in meditation for 20 years or more were found to have a greater volume of gray matter, the part of the brain that’s involved in memory and sensory perception, than their non-meditating counterparts.
It reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
Meditation balances hormone levels and calms the nervous system, effectively reducing the body’s natural fight-or-flight response.
It reduces blood pressure.
The lowered blood pressure results in a decreased chance of an aneurysm, heart attack and artery damage. Normalized blood pressure also significantly reduces the risk of stroke.
It boosts immunity.
Meditation strengthens the body’s natural ability to combat disease and protect against toxins, bacteria, and viruses.
It helps battle addictions.
The regular practice of meditation helps the addicted to better resist alcohol, nicotine or drugs naturally.
It encourages healthy sleep patterns.
Less stress leads to better sleep. Twice daily meditation acts as a natural antidote to insomnia.
It improves brain efficiency.
The act of meditating causes the parts of the brain to function more harmoniously together. A healthy brain can help to ward off diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
It improves personal relationships.
When your overall demeanor is calmer, you’re happier and your personal relationships become more harmonious. This same sense of peace can also flow into your professional relationships, as well.
It encourages creativity and increases problem-solving skills.
Meditation leads to greater mental alertness, which enables you to come up with more creative solutions for problems.
It may improve fertility.
It’s known that the stress of trying to conceive can actually hinder the process. The calming effects of meditation lower stress, which makes it easier for a woman to conceive.
Tips for meditating
Make the time you spend meditating as effective as possible.
Here’s how to get the most out of your experience:
- Start small. Don’t start off expecting to meditate for 30 minutes. Start with a shorter time, like five minutes. Once you’re comfortable with that amount, slowly increase the length. Use a timer with a peaceful alarm so that you don’t have to worry about watching a clock.
- Eliminate distractions. Find the quietest place you can. Your time spent in meditation will be more productive without distractions.
- Give yourself a break. Don’t get upset with yourself when your mind wanders. Instead, gently bring your attention back. Getting yourself all worked up will have the opposite effect of what you’re aiming for! If you’re having trouble concentrating, start counting. Choose a number and count up to it repeatedly.
Find a quiet spot, take a deep breath and begin reaping the benefits of a calmer mind and body.
Do you have any tried-and-true methods for effective meditation?